A comforting soup flavoured with four different types of chillies, served with grilled cheese Quesadillas.
This is essentially soup and sandwiches – comfort food, Mexican style.
The soup is flavoured with four different chillies – Ancho, Guajillo, Chipotle and red chillies. The soup is rich, Smokey and very delicious with its flavour coming from a wonderful paste made from pan roasting the chillies along with tomatoes bell peppers, garlic, onions and spices. Charring these in a pan before blending makes such a difference and really brings the flavours to life. Diced carrot and celery are fried, stock is added, then the paste followed by a good simmer. Before serving diced bell peppers, more sliced red chillies, diced onion and some fresh coriander leaf are added to give the soup texture and freshness.
The Quesadillas are the perfect accompaniment and very easy to make – just don’t tell anyone how easy! They can be made in minutes, and eaten even quicker.
Soup gives 4 portions
Quesadillas recipe for 2 persons
Cooking time 40 minutes
1 stick celery – dice
1 medium size carrot – peel, dice
1-2 tbsp. olive oil
3 small white onions – leave whole with skin on
1 ancho chilli
1 guajillo chilli
2 red chillies – thinly slice one chilli, Set aside in a bowl
4 cloves garlic – leave skin on the cloves
1 orange bell pepper – dice half the pepper, set aside in a bowl
1 red bell pepper – dice half the pepper, set aside in a bowl
1 red onion – dice, set aside in a bowl
Generous handful of fresh coriander – keep a few stalks aside and roughly chop the rest
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp chipotle paste
1/2 tsp oregano
4 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1.5 litres chicken stock
Method: Start by warming a large flat pan or griddle over a medium heat. Place the tomatoes, garlic, the chillies, half the bell peppers and onions on and dry fry until they become slightly charred, for approx. 7-8 minutes, turning halfway through. Add the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and dry fry until the spices become aromatic.
Remove the contents from the pan, add the spices to a food processor and leave the rest on a chopping board to cool for a few minutes. Once cooled remove the skins from the garlic and onions, but leave the skins on the peppers and tomatoes. Add everything to the food processor along with a few coriander stalks, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 2 tsp chipotle paste, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp oregano and 4 tsp brown sugar. Blitz until a smooth paste is formed, make sure you blend it well as the smoother the paste the smoother the final soup.
Add 1-2 tbsp. of olive oil to a deep soup pan over a medium heat, once hot add the diced carrot and celery and fry for 4-5 minutes until softened. Next add the chicken stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Now add the paste and stir well, bring back to the boil then reduce to a simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Complete the soup by adding the diced bell peppers, onion and sliced chilli then simmer for a further 5 minutes – enough to heat these through but not so long that they loose their texture. As a final step add the chopped coriander and stir through. The soup is now ready to serve.
4 corn tortillas (2 per person)
Canola oil – in a spray or ramekin with pastry brush
2 handfuls of sweetcorn
2 medium tomatoes – diced
1 small red onion – diced
Handful of coriander – roughly chopped
150g strong cheddar cheese – grated
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Pinch of sea salt
Garlic mayonnaise – optional, to serve
Barbeque sauce – optional, to serve
Method: Begin by pre heating your oven to 170°c, and warm a flat frying pan over a medium heat.
In a large glass bowl, mix the tomatoes, sweetcorn, coriander leaf, ground coriander, ground cumin, smoked paprika, salt and cheddar cheese.
Spray one side of the corn tortillas with canola oil then heat the tortilla on that side until golden, remove and repeat with the rest of the tortillas.
Assemble the quesadillas by spooning the mixture on the non cooked side of the tortillas then like a sandwich place another tortilla on top. Place the assembled quesadillas on a baking tray and heat them through in the oven for approx. 15 minutes, until the cheese in the mixture melts – this could be slightly quicker or slower depending upon how big the tortillas are and how much filling you have added.
Remove them from the oven, let them cool slightly then cut into quarters. As an optional garnish drizzle some garlic mayonnaise and some barbeque sauce over them.
A rich, smokey and spicey soup of vegetables and mixed beans
A simple recipe for a rich, smokey, spicey and deeply flavoursome soup which is as healthy as it is delicious. A flavour base of onion, peas, garlic, carrot and celery is fried in a little olive oil then mixed beans, chipotle paste, spices, herbs, tomato paste and stock are added. Unlike most my soups this one is not blended so it is important to spend a little time cutting the vegetables so that they are all the same size and cook at the same time. The result is a soup with a really satisfying deep flavour – works brilliantly with a nice bacon roll (other fillings are available) or as a starter on its own.
This recipe gives 4 large portions
Preparation time 15 minutes, cooking time 45 minutes
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 white onions – finely diced
3 sticks celery – finely diced
4 cloves garlic – crush finely chopped
50g garden peas
4 carrots – peel, finely diced
400g tin mixed beans (in water) – drain, rinse well
2 bay leafs
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp chipotle paste
2 dessert spoons tomato paste
1 dessert spoon brown sugar
1.5 litres vegetable/chicken stock
2 tbsp. chopped coriander leaf
salt and pepper
Method: Start by heating 2 tbsp. olive oil in a deep stock/soup pot then fry the onion, bay leafs, carrot, garlic, peas and celery for 5-7 minutes until slightly softened. Add the beans, the chipotle and tomato paste and mix well, then add the spices. Stir fry for a further 2 minutes then add in the stock, the chopped coriander, the sugar, a generous amount of black pepper and a little salt. Bring the soup to the boil then reduce to a simmer, cover pot with lid and cook for around 40 minutes. After this carefully remove lid and taste test the seasoning, add a little extra salt or pepper if required. Before serving remove the bay leafs then ladle the soup into bowls. Enjoy.
Mexican classic beef with chilli, red pepper rice and a wonderful fresh salsa. Comfort food at its very best.
Serves two people
Preparation time 30 minutes, cooking time 1 hour
This recipe uses gaujillo chillies and chipolte paste to give the chilli sauce that authentic flavour. Firstly gaujillo chillies, garlic and tomato are dry fried, before being blended with cumin seeds and chipolte paste. Beef mince is browned with some white onion in a little oil, then the paste is added along with all spice berries, bay leaf, oregano, some water and seasoning. The dish is slowly simmered for around an hour to reduce the sauce and bring out the rich deep flavours.
Red pepper rice works so well with this dish, or indeed as a side to any mexican dish. Onion, garlic and half a red bell pepper are fried in a little oil then washed long grain rice is added along with chilli powder and tomato paste. The rice is fried in the oil and stirred until each grain is coated. Chicken stock is then added along with seasoning before the rice is covered and reduced to simmer. After the stock is absorbed the rice is fluffed up with a fork before serving.
The salsa is a straightforward mix of corn, tomatoes, spring onion, red onion, avocado, red chilli, coriander, seasoning, a little sugar and lime juice. Best done 1-2 hours in advance, mixed well and set aside to let the flavours come together. A winner with any mexican dish or as a dip for tortilla chips.
As an extra accompaniment I served this dish with corn tortillas and sour cream.
2 gaujillo chillies – soak in water for 30 minutes
3 garlic cloves (unpeeled)
3 round tomatoes
tsp cumin seeds
1 and half tsp chipolte paste
220 -300g good quality minced beef
1 white onion – diced
2 all spice berries
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Method: Dry fry the garlic, guajillo chillies and tomatoes over a medium heat for 5-6 minutes, turning frequently until charred. Remove from heat and set aside until cooled. Peel the garlic then add to a mini blender along with the unpeeled tomatoes, gaujillo chillies, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1.5 tsps chipolte paste and blend well until smooth. In a separate pan and the oil and heat over a medium heat, once hot brown the mince along with the onion. Next add the paste from the blender, approx 200ml water, 2 all spice berries, a bay leaf and a tsp oregano. Stir well bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for approximately 1 hour. Stir occasionally and add a little more water if the chilli becomes too dry.
150g long grain rice – rinse before use
1 white onion – diced
2 cloves garlic – peel, crush, finely chop
Half a red bell pepper – diced
2 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp chilli powder – use extra for extra heat
400ml chicken stock
1 tbsp oil
Method: Heat the oil over a medium heat in a saucepan then fry the onions, garlic and bell pepper for 2-3 minutes. Add the rice along with 2 tsp tomato paste and 1 tsp chilli powder, stir well and fry the mixture for 30 seconds. Pour in the chicken stock along with a little seasoning, stir once and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and reduce to a simmer for 10-12 minutes or until the liquid is fully absorbed. Remove from heat, remove lid and fluff rice with a fork.
4 Tbsp sweetcorn
2 round tomatoes – finely chopped
1 red onion – diced
1 avocado – diced
Handful coriander leaf – chopped
2 spring onions – thinly sliced
2 red bird eye chillies – thinly sliced
salt and pepper – to taste
Half teaspoon of brown sugar
Juice of 1 lime
Method – This is really as simple as mixing all the ingredients in a large bowl, cover and setting aside in fridge. In My opinion it is best done 2-3 hours in advance and brought to room temperature 30 mins before serving.
One day I hope to recover enough from my accident to open my own restaurant, this will defiantly be on the menu – its that tasty!
This recipe is extremely healthy as well as being super tasty. A selection of salad ingredients are seasoned then combined with cooked brown rice. The steak is marinated in my signature steak marinade, grilled then rested before being sliced on the diagonal and placed on top of a bed of the rice. A wonderful spiced coriander dressing is then made and drizzled over the top to complete the dish. It sounds simple however the combination of textures and flavours make this dish a real winner.
The best thing about this dish is that it is colourful, fresh, flavourful and satisfying yet it is extremely good for you.
2 rump or sirloin steaks (thinner cuts work best)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Worcester sauce
Half teaspoon ground black pepper
Put all ingredients in a food bag, tie securely, then massage beef for 1 minute to ensure a good covering. Put in fridge for 90 minutes then remove 30 minutes before cooking to bring to room temperature.
To Cook the steaks: cook over a high heat to medium rare, rest then slice on the diagonal into thin strips. Make sure you collect all the juices and drizzle over the final dish.
140g brown rice – cook in lightly salted water, drain then put on a plate to cool
small red onion – diced
40-50g sweetcorn – drain on absorbent paper
1 red Romano pepper – diced
1 beef tomato – core removed, cut into chunks, drain on absorbent paper
10cm cucumber – seeds removed, cut into crescents then half, drain on absorbent paper
1 large avocado – diced (do last to avoid browning)
2 spring onions – thinly sliced on diagonal
1 large hot red chilli – very thinly sliced (as thin as you can!)
Half teaspoon salt
Half teaspoon brown sugar
Quarter teaspoon black pepper
Place all the chopped vegetables in large glass bowl, along with the salt, sugar and black pepper. Use your hands to mix well. Once the rice has cooled, tip in and mix gently.
Half teaspoon ground coriander
Half teaspoon paprika
Three Quarters teaspoon ground cumin
Juice of two limes
Heaped desert spoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaf
Half teaspoon salt
Quarter teaspoon ground black pepper
In a large bowl first add the spices, then lime juice and stir well until combined. Next add the sugar, salt and pepper, stir well until they have dissolved then leave for 5 minutes. Next add the coriander and stir well for 2-3 minutes. Taste test the dressing, add extra seasoning or a little extra sugar if required. Ensure you give it another good stir just before serving.
Assembling final dish: Place a bed of the rice salad mixture on the plate. Place strips of steak on top the drizzle their juices on top. To complete use a spoon to drizzle the dressing over the dish. Serve and enjoy!
Really simple, yet really tasty recipe for a fresh and zingy salsa.
Works well as a side dish with salads, mexican cuisine, grilled meats and fish. Also a great dip for potato crisps and tortilla chips.
125g plum tomatoes
2 red onions
Juice of 2 limes
1 orange bell pepper
Tsp brown sugar
Tsp smoked paprika
Handful of fresh coriander leaf
1/4 Tsp salt
1/4 Tsp ground black pepper
You require a food processor for this recipe. Use the main multi purpose chopping blade.
Peel the onion and deseed the bell pepper. Add all the ingredients to a food processor. Use the pulse setting in bursts of 4-5 seconds, stopping between pulses for a few seconds until the salsa is finely chopped (see pictures for example) but before it is reduced to a paste. Set aside in a covered bowl in a fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.